Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Distinction Awards 2014

The year 2014 opens with a tragedy – the Veng Sreng murder, and closes with another tragedy – Roka HIV spread. And in between there are plenty of tragedies for those who have no connection to high places.

Still, a few manage to earn Pseng-Pseng annual accolades. Here are the winners and their category.

*Bravery Award: Hun Sen’s Mercenaries

“They weren’t afraid of the protesters throwing stones, they were only angry at them. I saw them shooting only to kill. It was like watching children play with fireworks.

Ouk Mara, 17, student wounded on her way home from school, 8 January 2014, The Cambodia Daily

“I was standing just outside my doorway watching everything when I was shot and I have no idea where the bullets came from. The military police were running around shooting indiscriminately, they had become so angry after the people started throwing stones at them.”

Heath Rady, 20, wounded female worker from the Canadia Industrial Park, 8 January 2014, The Cambodia Daily

“They didn’t shoot to threaten us, they shot to kill us.”

So Nar, 27, wounded while standing on the third floor of a residential building on Veng Sreng Street, 8 January 2014, The Cambodia Daily

Hun Sen launches the year with gun fires by ordering his military police to shoot to kill, murdering five, and seriously injuring at least 42. They open fire to disperse protestors along Veng Sreng Street in Por Senchey district. They have guts to shoot those who have no idea they would walk into a gunfight with a few stones.

The district’s name literally means “Blessing with So Much Victory” – very aptly for the murderers, not the victims. Or an anagram of the name is the victory blessing for [Hun] Sen, marking his historic achievement in the district.

*The Best Property Agent Award: Hun Sen

“Prime Minister Hun Sen rejects all of the plans that have been designed. When I ask him why, his answer is simple: ‘To sell the land’.”

Retired architect and urban planner Vann Molyvann, 31 December 2013, Next City

“But at the moment they don’t have this vision, they don’t have clear planning for the city. So many developers come to Cambodia and they do what they want. There are many buildings built in different styles, which ruins the image of the city.”

CocochiCam Designs CEO Toshishige Kawauchi, 19 December 2014, The Phnom Penh Post

Nothing can stand between the man and his piles of cash. Concrete jungles worth a few billion bucks are shooting up like mushrooms in the dark – without urban planning and regard for construction and building safety, and health regulations. They say plans and regulations are coming.

Meanwhile, lakes are filled, land subdivided, and sold like hot cakes. There have already been floods, death, and injuries associated with putting the cart before the horse.

Agent Hun Sen’s thinking is clear and simple – making money first and fast. And GDP huggers celebrate as these activities are added to the GDP growth.

*The Great Supreme Hypocrite Award: Tep Vong

“I … ask the relevant establishments, the National Assembly, the Senate, the government and all political parties, to please create procedures to make the ordained monks and novice monks stay neutral…[and] avoid participating in activities that support or oppose any political party and participating in elections.”

Tep Vong, The Great Supreme Patriarch, 18 December 2014, The Cambodia Daily

“អង្គអនុសំវច្ឆរមហាសន្និបាតមន្ត្រីសង្ឍទូទាំងប្រទេសលើកទី ២០ បានសម្រេចគាំទ្រយ៉ាងពេញទំហឹង​នូវ​បេក្ខភាពសម្តេចអគ្គមហាសេនាបតីតេជោ ហ៊ុនសែន ជានាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី សម្រាប់អាណត្តិខាងមុខ និងអាណត្តិ​ក្រោយៗទៀត ...”

សង្ឃប្រកាស លេខ១០៤/១១ ស.ន.ក.ជ ចុះថ្ងៃទី២១ ខែធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ ២០១១

The clergy has enough hypocritical sense to propose a suspension of monks’ right to vote after feeling monks ignore his call for an eternal support for Hun Sen premiership.

To follow through his latest logic, he may move next to ban police, armed forces, and public servants to ensure their political apathy.

*The Turning Point Award: Sam Rainsy & Kem Sokha

“So we now have this role of the opposition being recognized and the minority leader, who will be the dialogue partner of the prime minister. I and Mr. Hun Sen would speak as near equals on issues of national interest.”

CNRP president Sam Rainsy, 29 November 2014, The Cambodia Daily

What Sam Rainsy sees as the turning point delivers his deputy to CPP’s Heng Samrin as the latter’s new deputy in the National Assembly, and let himself play second fiddle to Hun Sen as honorific and symbolic prime minister. He can now speak with the premier on “near equal” footing.

This “near equal” is not enough for CNRP director of information Meach Sovannara and other party members who are thrown in jail due to what CNRP claims as a political motive. An equal footing may just set them free. Nevertheless, the jailing of these low grade followers may not an issue of national interest.

*The Colourful Language Award: Hun Sen and Tep Vong

"...ទេ ចុះមកឆ្កួតជាមួយនឹងអាត្មាម៉េច អាឆ្កួត មកឲ្យធ្វើអំពាវនាវម៉េច កុំមកនាំអញឆ្កួត អញមិនឆ្កួតទេវើយ អញប្រាប់មិញហើយថា ច្បាប់ជារឿងរបស់ខ្លួនឯងទេ កុំនាំអញឆ្កួត អញមិនឆ្កួតជាមួយពួកអាជំគួតអស់ហ្នឹងទេ។"

The Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong, 17 December 2013, VOD Hot News

“Don’t come to beg from them [the government]. They have no rice for you. They only have dog shit for you.”

The Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong, 18 December 2013, The Cambodia Daily

«ឥឡូវ​គេ​ដោះ​ហើយ​តើ ​ដូច្នេះ​ហើយ​បាន​ជា​ចៅហ្វាយ​ខេត្ត​រត់ទាំង​យប់។​ អី​ក៏​ភ្លើ​ម្ល៉េះ! ​តែ​អា​នេះ​ភ្លើ​ខូច។ ​កុំ​ព្រហើន​ពេក​ណា​ អាក្មេង​ព្រហើន!។លោក​ឯង​និយាយ​យក​ចំណេញ។​ អាង​ឡើង​អាង​ចង់ទម្លាក់​នាយក​រដ្ឋ​មន្ត្រី។​ ​មើ​លោក​ឯង​សាកមើល!​ ​បើ​ក្បាល​ប៉ាន​ដែក ​សុំ​អញ្ជើញ! ​ខ្ញុំ​ប្រើ​ភាសា​ថា ​លោក​អ្នក​ ថ្លៃថ្នូរ​ជំនួស​ពាក្យ​ថា ​អាល្ងង់។​ អានេះ​អាង​មាន​វីអូអេ​ វិទ្យុ​អាស៊ី​សេរី។​ (តែ)​អញ​មាន​ទូរទស្សន៍​វ៉ី ។​»

សម្តេចអគ្គមហាសេនាបតីតេជោ នាយក​រដ្ឋ​មន្ត្រី​​ ហ៊ុន សែន ២១សីហា ១៤ វីអូអេ

Even with their glorified title, their language could still make them sound like they are dust of life. There is no diamond in the rough.

The best thing is that their audience is immune to the vulgarity. Other high-profile politicians adopt the language, but fail to make it as colourful.

Anyway, have a great 2015; all the winners will.

Ung Bun Ang

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Pseng-Pseng is published on the tenth, twentieth, and thirtieth day of every month. Previous issues are archived at

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